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I could see the cruise lines working with Cozumel resorts to fly in a day or two early, stage check-in at several resorts, have transportation from the resort to the cruise terminal, and from there onto the ship. I would not be surprised if they did this with a ship to prove cruising is possible from other ports and show the CDC that they are abusing their power. There is no shortage of resorts in Cancun and Cozumel that can stage cruise passengers. That will get labor and port authorities pressuring the government to force the CDC to ease or risk losing $Bs in economic impact.

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Posted (edited)

Why not just spend the money in Puerto Rico..  I would rather sail to ports in the SOUTH not the WEST.

Maybe it is a provisioning decision, with Cozumel closer to the U.S. source of supplies?

 

Like Puerto Rico We have been to Cozumel but only as a port of call.

 

Nice hotels and resorts in San Juan for pre or post cruise overnights or stays, but have no idea as to those in Cozumel. 

 

Less passport problems for those without.

 

Imagine what ports could be reached on a 10-11 day cruise from Puerto Rico?

Edited by boscobeans
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2 hours ago, boscobeans said:

Why not just spend the money in Puerto Rico..  I would rather sail to ports in the SOUTH not the WEST.

Maybe it is a provisioning decision, with Cozumel closer to the U.S. source of supplies?

 

Like Puerto Rico We have been to Cozumel but only as a port of call.

 

Nice hotels and resorts in San Juan for pre or post cruise overnights or stays, but have no idea as to those in Cozumel. 

 

Less passport problems for those without.

 

Imagine what ports could be reached on a 10-11 day cruise from Puerto Rico?

CDC won't allow it right now.

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2 hours ago, BoozinCroozin said:

I could see the cruise lines working with Cozumel resorts to fly in a day or two early, stage check-in at several resorts, have transportation from the resort to the cruise terminal, and from there onto the ship. I would not be surprised if they did this with a ship to prove cruising is possible from other ports and show the CDC that they are abusing their power. There is no shortage of resorts in Cancun and Cozumel that can stage cruise passengers. That will get labor and port authorities pressuring the government to force the CDC to ease or risk losing $Bs in economic impact.

Remember it's not just about the passengers.  It's about provisions too, including fuel.

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Royal Caribbean seems to be ramping up its efforts to start sailing, and it looks like the cruise line wants to do this sooner rather than later.

 

With an extended season in Singapore, due to the incredible success of Quantum of the Seas in the city-state and Royal Caribbean announcing this week it will homeport its newest vessel, Odyssey of the Seas in Israel, it looked like that would be it from the cruise giant. Not so.

 

Cozumel’s mayor revealed some interesting news this week; in an article on Riviera Maya News, the major said Royal Caribbean is in negotiations with Royal Caribbean Cruises to make Cozumel a homeport in just a few months.

What Did the Cozumel Mayor Say?

Royal Caribbean has been finding some exciting solutions for sailing during the pandemic. The cruise line looking for a different homeport is therefore very much in the realm of possibilities. And with Cozumel soon opening its fourth dock, which can feature as a homeport, the facilities are in place.

 

According to Cozumel Mayor Pedro Joaquin Delbouis, Royal Caribbean had asked the port to act as a homeport. The major even went as far as stating that Royal Caribbean could move its base of operations to Cozumel since the United States government will not allow them to operate:

“A company has established a Plan B, that if in April there is no decision to sail, Cozumel would be its home port starting May,” he said. “We were consulted, and we immediately said yes.”

Cruise Hive reached out to Royal Caribbean regarding the comments made by the Cozumel mayor and we received the following response:

“While we suspended most of our global operations through April, our company is preparing for a healthy return to sailing. Protecting the health and safety of our guests, crew and the communities we visit remains a top priority. As we continue to navigate this pandemic, we’ve made continued progress on many fronts. We’re engaging with various stakeholders, particularly governments and partners in the travel industry worldwide, to evaluate the feasibility of returning to cruising from several destinations once it is safe to do so. No final decisions have been made regarding these efforts.”

   

Cozumel Looking To Reactivate Island tourism

As Cruise Hive reported in early February, Cozumel is incredibly eager to reactivate island tourism. The island’s government has been very proactive in contacting various cruise lines and offering them a homeport spot.

 

While most cruise lines would ordinarily speaking be happy with homeporting in the southern United States, the pandemic has changed that. As times roll by, it speaks for itself that cruise lines would start looking at other options. According to a statement from the island’s mayor last month, there have been talks between the island and MSC cruises:

“We are in talks with MSC, which managed an itinerary through the Caribbean without touching North American soil.”

Although MSC Cruises has been extremely successful with making cruises from Italy since August last year, and it would not be surprising to see MSC take on a new challenge, the fact remains that the European cruise line has already made plans for another vessel to resume sailings in May in Europe. So the focus could be elsewhere already.

Is It All Down To The CDC?

Whether or not Royal Caribbean will be homeporting in Cozumel does seem to be a decision influenced by the Conditional Sailing Order from the CDC, and when the CDC will finally come up with the details requested by the cruise line.

 

If Royal Caribbean feels it will be able to sail safely from Cozumel, as it has been doing from Singapore and the Canary Islands, and is planning to do from Israel, there seems to be little reason why the cruise line would not do so.

 

https://www.cruisehive.com/is-royal-caribbean-planning-to-homeport-in-cozumel/47501

 

 

Biker, who still doesn't think this will happen.

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9 hours ago, Biker19 said:

Biker, who still doesn't think this will happen.


I don’t see anything new in that report. It is just a collection of old reports including the original link on this thread.

 

I also don’t think it will happen anytime soon either but with cruise lines looking to diversify I wouldn't say never. MSC sounds a more likely candidate.

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On 3/1/2021 at 2:30 PM, time4u2go said:

Remember it's not just about the passengers.  It's about provisions too, including fuel.

I'm not sure I understand the statements regarding how a port like Cozumel couldn't handle being a home port?  There are a number of massive hotels and resorts there, and most of their food and supplies are presumably flown in or brought in on cargo ships.  Also, the ship doesn't have to fully provision, or fully fuel, in its home port.  I'm not in the cruise business but it seems to me that there's nothing magic about loading all provisions and fuel on day 1 of a 7 day cruise, could be at a different port that's Day 3 or 5 on a regular itinerary.  

 

Interesting concept but I suspect just exploratory at this point.  The cruise lines will want to wait to see what Cozumel actually builds (or agrees to build) before making any commitments.  

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On 2/28/2021 at 2:02 PM, Baron Barracuda said:

What ports could sailings from Cozumel visit?  Aren't most islands still closed?  Also skeptical about capabilities of local airport, availability of convenient nearby hotel accomodations, whether may US tourists would take the longer flight to Cozumel and how much extra those flights would cost.

 

We are flying to Riviera Maya soon again. In November one of our flights was completely full. Pricing at least now from Boston is cheaper than to Florida.

 

 As for Mexico, we were extremely impressed how seriously they take all COVID-19 measures. Actually we were amazed.

Edited by Tatka
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On 2/27/2021 at 10:06 PM, Ourusualbeach said:

There is an international airport on the Island 

Direct flights from Canada on Air Canada and Air Transat, but suspended this winter.  Also American flies from Fort Myers.  Also non-stops from Chigaco and Dallas/Fort Worth.

Edited by M&A
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16 hours ago, Biker19 said:

Biker, who still doesn't think this will happen.

 

Any chance this could just be a negotiating ploy to prod the CDC into faster action, re:test cruise,  etc? 

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41 minutes ago, HBE4 said:

 

Any chance this could just be a negotiating ploy to prod the CDC into faster action, re:test cruise,  etc? 

 

 

Royal has no leverage.  For CDC there is no difference between Royal sailing from Cozumel or just staying in shutdown.  Either way no cruise ships call at US ports so no risk of spread.  

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2 hours ago, Baron Barracuda said:

 

 

Royal has no leverage.  For CDC there is no difference between Royal sailing from Cozumel or just staying in shutdown.  Either way no cruise ships call at US ports so no risk of spread.  

Exactly.  For the cruise lines, CDC is a U.S. regulatory agency.  I retired from commercial nuclear power which has the NRC as our regulatory agency.  A NRC resident inspector once told me "we don't care if you ever generate a single watt of electricity, all we care about is that you are in compliance with federal law and your license requirements."  This is how CDC looks at the cruise lines.  CDC still gets paid every two weeks whether Royal Caribbean is sailing from the U.S. or it isn't.

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On 3/4/2021 at 9:19 AM, Brucemcdou said:

I'm not sure I understand the statements regarding how a port like Cozumel couldn't handle being a home port?  There are a number of massive hotels and resorts there, and most of their food and supplies are presumably flown in or brought in on cargo ships.  Also, the ship doesn't have to fully provision, or fully fuel, in its home port.  I'm not in the cruise business but it seems to me that there's nothing magic about loading all provisions and fuel on day 1 of a 7 day cruise, could be at a different port that's Day 3 or 5 on a regular itinerary.  

 

Interesting concept but I suspect just exploratory at this point.  The cruise lines will want to wait to see what Cozumel actually builds (or agrees to build) before making any commitments.  

Historically cruise ships ONLY provision on day one. Cozumel currently has no pier that could be used for embarkation due to provisioning, fuel loading, luggage loading....the list goes on and on.

 

Flights to Cozumel are not cheap, and not as regular as Florida. One also has to consider the need for a passport to embark from Cozumel, contrary to the small number of cruisers on CC, a large percentage of cruise passenger do not have a passport.

 

The infrastructure just is not there

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58 minutes ago, not-enough-cruising said:

Historically cruise ships ONLY provision on day one. Cozumel currently has no pier that could be used for embarkation due to provisioning, fuel loading, luggage loading....the list goes on and on.

 

Flights to Cozumel are not cheap, and not as regular as Florida. One also has to consider the need for a passport to embark from Cozumel, contrary to the small number of cruisers on CC, a large percentage of cruise passenger do not have a passport.

 

The infrastructure just is not there

How is this different than now having the Grandeur home-porting out of Barbados. 

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2 minutes ago, Ourusualbeach said:

How is this different than now having the Grandeur home-porting out of Barbados. 

Barbados has been an embarkation port for many years, they have set themselves up for this role over time.  
In my opinion, thinking that Cozumel could just flip a switch and start embarking cruise ships to teach the CDC “a lesson” is just not realistic. 

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7 minutes ago, not-enough-cruising said:

Barbados has been an embarkation port for many years, they have set themselves up for this role over time.  
In my opinion, thinking that Cozumel could just flip a switch and start embarking cruise ships to teach the CDC “a lesson” is just not realistic. 

I don’t think anyone said “flip a switch”. They recognize that there needs to be a port built anD some other issues, I don’t think it’s as impossible as you believe. 
 

It’s not like they are instantly going to try to be like FLL and having 8 ships in port on a turnaround day. They are already used to bringing in guests and provisions for the resorts, doesn't seem like that’s much of a stretch to add a cruise ship to the mix.   
 

anyway, all this could be a moot point with the rapidly changing way the CDC is viewing vaccines. 

Edited by Ourusualbeach
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1 hour ago, not-enough-cruising said:

Historically cruise ships ONLY provision on day one. Cozumel currently has no pier that could be used for embarkation due to provisioning, fuel loading, luggage loading....the list goes on and on.

 

Flights to Cozumel are not cheap, and not as regular as Florida. One also has to consider the need for a passport to embark from Cozumel, contrary to the small number of cruisers on CC, a large percentage of cruise passenger do not have a passport.

 

The infrastructure just is not there

That's a great point about the pier.  At true embarkation ports, trucks can literally pull up alongside the ship on the pier.  This would be difficult if not impossible at Cozumel, with passengers and luggage in the same area.  There's also the issue of refueling the ship while all of this is going on.

Edited by time4u2go
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43 minutes ago, Ourusualbeach said:

I don’t think anyone said “flip a switch”. They recognize that there needs to be a port built anD some other issues, I don’t think it’s as impossible as you believe. 
 

It’s not like they are instantly going to try to be like FLL and having 8 ships in port on a turnaround day. They are already used to bringing in guests and provisions for the resorts, doesn't seem like that’s much of a stretch to add a cruise ship to the mix.   
 

anyway, all this could be a moot point with the rapidly changing way the CDC is viewing vaccines. 

 

3 minutes ago, time4u2go said:

That's a great point about the pier.  At true embarkation ports, trucks can literally pull up alongside the ship on the pier.  This would be difficult if not impossible at Cozumel, with passengers and luggage in the same area.  There's also the issue of refueling the ship while all of this is going on.

Yeah, don't get me wrong, it can be done and I think it would be good to have in the mix; but this would be a BIG project and take a year or more to get put together.

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On 3/4/2021 at 12:05 PM, M&A said:

Direct flights from Canada on Air Canada and Air Transat, but suspended this winter.  Also American flies from Fort Myers.  Also non-stops from Chigaco and Dallas/Fort Worth.

We flew in to Cozumel in January.  United airlines on the way there and American on the way home

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Not sure the region has the infrastructure to support home-porting a cruise ship.  Historical airport passenger count for Cozumel is 450K passengers per year, (arrivals and departures), meaning a daily average of less than 1000 arrivals.  There's also only 6 gates at the airport.  

Compare this to Barbados with 2.3M passengers per year and 22 gates, and all Barbados gets is Grandeur.

Edited by gmerick
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Tough to compare the airports. Barbados has one airport and is a popular destination from Europe. Cozumel has Cancun airport nearby (albeit requiring a ferry ride) that is only served by US and Mexican airlines.

 

 

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21 minutes ago, smokeybandit said:

Tough to compare the airports. Barbados has one airport and is a popular destination from Europe. Cozumel has Cancun airport nearby (albeit requiring a ferry ride) that is only served by US and Mexican airlines.

 

 

Cozumel also has its own international airport in addition to Cancun and it is served by US and Canadian airlines. 

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On 3/4/2021 at 5:42 PM, Anton said:

Exactly.  For the cruise lines, CDC is a U.S. regulatory agency.  I retired from commercial nuclear power which has the NRC as our regulatory agency.  A NRC resident inspector once told me "we don't care if you ever generate a single watt of electricity, all we care about is that you are in compliance with federal law and your license requirements."  This is how CDC looks at the cruise lines.  CDC still gets paid every two weeks whether Royal Caribbean is sailing from the U.S. or it isn't.

I agree, but would phrase it slightly differently: the CDC has a mandate to protect the health of Americans.  It's not to create jobs in the USA, or to promote tourism to and from the USA, or to expand the economy of the USA.  Other taxpayer-funded agencies have those mandate.  CDC employees are doctors and scientists dedicated to doing their job the best way possible.  

 

So I absolutely agree that RC has no "leverage" with the CDC as it is not supposed to take those issues (jobs, tourism, economic activity) into its analysis of what it best for the health of Americans.  

 

The balancing of those conflicting concerns (health vs. the economy) are the responsibility of elected officials as it should be.  

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